© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

Organic Dirt

When they built my house they dug a trench from the street to my front porch. Then the laid down the water main, filled the dirt back in, and leveled it off. They neglected, however, to compact the soil and as a result, nine ¬†years later, I have a two foot deep, three foot wide trench running down my front lawn. Or at least I did until last week when I had eight cubic yards of topsoil delivered. Eight cubic feet of dirt doesn’t sound like much, until you start to move it with a shovel and a rake. Six hours later a long smooth blanket of soil covered the half pipe in my front yard.

As I was working a neighbor lady stopped on my sidewalk, dog leash in hand, and she gave me a quizzical look. I stopped shoveling and smiled at her.

Lady: I know you wouldn’t throw that there dirt at me! Say, whatcha doin’?

Me: (standing atop a four foot high pile of dirt, shovel in hand) Filling in a trench in my front yard with this dirt.

Lady: Looks like a job! Say, wheredidja get that dirt?

Me: I googled “topsoil shawnee” and a man came in a truck and delivered it. I can get you his name if you’d like.

Lady: Nahthanks. Is it organic?

Me: I’m not sure. It’s dirt, I don’t think it gets more organic than that. Is there such a thing as inorganic dirt?

Lady: You bet there is.

Me: (skeptical) Hmm. What do they call it? Synthetic?

She shrugged her shoulders, tugged on Fido’s leash, and walked back down the sidewalk.

I kept on shoveling my synthetic topsoil.

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